Harry Yaojun Yan
Research and Creative Interests
- Media and public opinion
- Computational Methods
- Media effects theories
- Political Communication
- Social Movements
I am a Ph.D. Candidate in the National Science Foundation-Interdisciplinary Trainee (NSF-NRT) program, dual-majoring in Media Arts & Sciences at the Media School and Complex Networks & Systems (CNS) at Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering. I am currently a Knight Foundation Fellow and a researcher at the Observatory on Social Media (OSoMe). I expect to complete the requirements of both degrees by May 2023.
My research investigates how mass and social media reflect and affect the formation of public opinion in relation to social movements, social minorities, and political polarization. My investigations of the question are guided by a complex systems perspective that views public opinion as the emergent outcome of collective behaviors of individuals and social actors. This perspective allows my empirical research to cut across micro-meso-macro levels and examine theories of individual information processing, media effects, computer-human interactions, and social dynamics. At the same time, my topical interests in social justice and media technologies allow my work to directly inform media practice and policymaking. My dissertation uses agent-based modeling (ABM) to examine the effects of high-choice media systems on opinion dynamics.
My work has been published in journals including Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Journal of Communication, New Media & Society, Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, International Journal of Communication, and Information, Communication and Society, along with others.
Social media, misinformation, and political polarization
Yan, H.Y. & Yang, K-C. (Forthcoming). “The landscape of social bot research: a critical appraisal.” Handbook of Critical Artificial Intelligence (AI) Studies.
Zheng, X., Lang, A., Almond, A., & Yan, H.Y. (2022). It takes guts to be a rebel!: A dynamic coordination account of the relationship between motivational reactivity, social morality, and political ideology. Politics and the Life Sciences, 1-10. https://doi.org/10.1017/pls.2022.5
Yan, H.Y., Yang, K.-C., Menczer, F., & Shanahan, J. (2021). Asymmetrical perceptions of partisan political bots. New Media & Society, 23(10), 3016–3037. https://doi.org/10.1177/1461444820942744
Yan, H.Y., Shanahan, J. Betsi, G., Gruszczynski, M, & Haley, P., (2020). Tracking public opinion about unsupported narratives in the 2020 Presidential election,” Observatory on Social Media (OSoMe), White Papers
The role of media in advancing racial justice and police reform
Yan, H.Y., Read, G., & Bailey, R. (2022). The amplification effects of camera point-of-view (POV) revisited—racial disparity in evaluations of police use of force videos in the post-George Floyd era, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), Detroit
Dunivin, Z. O., Yan, H.Y., Ince, J., & Rojas, F. (2022). Black Lives Matter protests shift public discourse. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 119(10), https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2117320119
Bailey, R., Read, G., Yan, H.Y., Liu, J., Makin, D., & Willits. D. (2021). Camera point-of-view exacerbates racial bias in viewers of police use of force Videos. Journal of Communication, 71(2), 246-275. https://doi.org/10.1093/joc/jqab002
The effects of media representation of minorities
Zhou, Y., Liu, T., Yan, H.Y., & Paul, B. (2021) A relational equality bias: Women’s narrative engagement in reading Chinese BL. International Journal of Communication, 15, 22. https://doi.org/1932.8036/20210005
Yan, H.Y. (2019). “The Rippled Perceptions”: The effects of LGBT-inclusive TV on own attitudes and perceived attitudes of peers towards lesbians and gays. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 96(3), 848-871. https://doi.org/10.1177/1077699018821327